"Never take life too seriously. No one makes it out alive."
Updated: March 20, 2016
Location: Located in Hawaii Kai through the Hawaii Loa neighborhood. Trail head starts at the end of the road at the park.
Type: Forest/Ridge hike
Hike Difficulty: Beginner
Total Time: 3 hours round trip
Distance: ~ 3.5 miles
Elevation: ~1700 feet
Things to Consider
Your hiking backpack
Take Kamehameha Highway towards Hawaii Kai side of the island. You will turn left onto Puuikena Dr, however you cannot make a left turn. You need to turn right into the round about and then head straight across the street. You are in the right place if you see the Hawaii Loa Ridge sign. Show your drivers license to the guard and he will give you a basic run down of the hike. Follow the road all the way up til the end and then park on the right.
So Hawaii Loa Ridge doesn't have the best views in Hawaii Kai, but I still love the hike and it was one of the first hikes I have ever done. It felt good to go back here and actually enjoy the hike a second time instead of just looking at the end for a great Instagram picture. Some hikes you just need to enjoy the scenery, the silence of nature, the changes in terrain of the hike, and the great view at the end. We didn't take too much pictures because it was super windy and cold at the top. But we did get a chance to enjoy some Spicy Ahi from Foodland down the road. At these altitudes, it is kind of rare to have a clear view with no clouds, but we were lucky enough to have one of the clearest days so we took advantage of that! The hike isn't too difficult, just breezing through the forest portion. However, you might break a sweat towards the end heading up the mountain to the summit. There are rope sections and lots and lots of stairs. But after you are rewarded with a great view of Waimanalo, and you can see the Waimanalo Reservoir below. I think this is the only hike where you can clearly see the reservior below. It looks like a small swimming pool, but it is huge! 126 acres of land and hundreds of thousands of gallons of water! Lately the reservoir has been full, and although it is illegal, people used to have slip and slide adventures here! Access to the reservoir will be left undisclosed. But happy hiking and be safe out there!
This is the parking lot where guests park for the hike.
What a cool spot for the Hawaii Loa residents to hang out!
We got busted for exploring too much. The park is off limits to non-residents.
Looking out towards the next ridge over.
Wide open dirt trail at the start.
And into the forest we go.
The mountains in the distance is our end point.
We thought somebody left their toilet paper just in case of an accident, but it was a medical first aid kit. Awesome!
Some Uluhe ferns, but the trail is well maintained.
You may get some minor scratches though.
Looking back towards civilization.
Heading through some dense Uluhe ferns.
The Hawaii Kai Stair Master!
Finally! Glad we had a clear view!
Such a clear day! And you can see the Waimanalo Reservoir below.
Eating our Spicy Ahi from Foodland on the edge!
Looking towards the right on the KST.
Well time to head back down. It's a long way towards civilization!
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